Sunday, November 28, 2010

Salem Lake Long Run

1 hour 55 mins. (16 miles)

This long run went 100% better than the run in Ft. Worth last week (or, specifically, 100% better than the last 30 minutes of the run last week). I felt strong and relaxed throughout, and for once wasn't dying to stop as we approached the two-hour mark.

The preparation for this run actually began almost a month ago, when Jenna, Tanya and I had agreed to meet up at a new running venue after a hectic November of traveling. Jenna, who now coaches at High Point, often takes to these trails on the weekend with her team, and I've heard Caitlin speak lovingly about putting in the miles here during her time at Wake Forest. For Tanya and Jordan and me, however, this run was the opportunity to try out someplace completely new. As a Charlottean who often grows bored with the monotony of running a million loops at McAlpine to cobble together a long run, I was relishing the change.

After almost a 90 minute drive, the three of us pulled up to the trail parking lot and waited for Jenna's arrival. We'd hoped Caitlin would join us as well but I guess she was too cool for school. At any rate, our group was planning to complete two seven-mile loops of the trail and then add on a few more miles. Jenna didn't have such high ambitions, but we hoped to convince her otherwise along the way. We set off at an easy pace and immediately fell into conversation, which quickly helped pass the time and distracted us from the bitingly cold air. The dirt and gravel trail hugged the perimeter of the lake, gently rolling in spots and shaded by a canopy of trees. We passed a few other intrepid runners on the first loop, but for the most part had the trails to ourselves.

Our first loop passed before I knew it, and after a quick bathroom stop we were off for loop #2. Unable to convince Jenna to man up for the duration, she turned around just a few miles into our second go around. This left the Three Musketeers to hammer out the final few miles together. I didn't notice the tempo steadily increasing, but hearing Tanya's Garmin splits post run indicates that we did exactly that. I felt comfortable closing the final mile at 6:40 pace, a far cry from the dejected shuffle of my final few miles on the Trinity River trail last Sunday. Clearly my cold is on its way out, which makes me happy. What made me even happier was adjourning for breakfast at a tasty local bakery and thawing out with some coffee and sweet potato pancakes. If there's a better way to start off a wintry Sunday morning, I can't think of it.


caitchris said...

wait, which bakery did you go to? And by too cool for school, if you really just mean, too sick for morning running, then you are correct.

mrn said...

it was called midtown cafe and dessert. it's right next to whole foods and the new fleet feet location. it was pretty yummy and they appeared to have legit desserts but we were too full after our breakfasts to sample any.